THE BIG 180: PADDY POWER UNVEIL ONE OF SPORT’S BIGGEST EVER CHARITY PARTNERSHIPS WITH PROSTATE CANCER UK AND THE PDC

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I am not a huge fan of bookmakers on occasion, and I have given them plenty of verbal over the years for their (many) wrongdoings which quite frankly, have not gone away, but if I am willing to give it out on the negative side – then it is important I balance things out when the need arises. This is one of those occasions with Paddy Power all set to contribute hugely to charity (see below), something that deserves our support and a ripple of applause as well.

·       Paddy Power won’t change the dartboard at the Paddy Power World Darts Championship – but have instead pledged to donate £1,000 to Prostate Cancer UK for every 180 hit, meaning a potential £1M donation for the cause.  

·       Paddy Power, Prostate Cancer UK and the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) have joined forces to call for 180,000 men across the UK to take 30 seconds to check their risk

·       1 in 8 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, but the disease is curable if caught early. 

THE BIG 180 CAMPAIGN AIMS TO CHANGE THE FATE OF MEN AT RISK AND TURN THOSE STATISTICS AROUND   

(30-11-2023, London) Paddy Power have put the power in the hands of the most skilled darts players on the planet to help save the lives of men across the UK.      

Earlier this week, the mischievous Irish bookmaker caused controversy amongst the global darting community when the new World Championship sponsors announced they had meddled with the treasured board. 

The firm claimed to have turned the treble 20 bed from its traditional red to green, just a fortnight before the festive sporting occasion, which is watched by a global audience of millions and is due to begin on December 15th at London’s Alexandra Palace.  

However, Paddy Power, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and Prostate Cancer UK today released a joint statement, revealing the true intent of The BIG 180 campaign.   

The ground-breaking partnership will see Paddy Power donate £1,000 every time a 180 is struck throughout the 16-day tournament – meaning the treble 20 will be staying red, and the leading men’s health charity gets the green! 

In addition, the bookmaker and the PDC will join forces and use all their channels to challenge 180,000 fans, followers and customers in the UK to use Prostate Cancer UK’s online risk checker via prostatecanceruk.org/180-risk

With 901 maximums scored during last year’s tournament, it is hoped that record will be smashed at this year’s event, meaning a possible £1million donation to Prostate Cancer UK – a transformative sum for the charity that will ultimately save lives.   

“We would like to officially apologise if we caused Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen or any of the other professional players undue stress this week. But if it grabbed the attention of them and just a fraction of the audience darts has, then it will all have been worthwhile,” Paddy Power, spokesman for the betting brand who sponsor this year’s tournament, said.  

“1 in 8 men are at risk of prostate cancer, so our aim is to hit them right between the bullseyes with The BIG 180 campaign which will be unmissable this Christmas,” Power added. 

Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Laura Kerby said: “We are thrilled to become the official charity partner of the Paddy Power World Darts Championship and thank Paddy Power and the PDC for uniting the darts community as we target this disease head on. 

“This iconic tournament is a sporting staple across the festive period, and The BIG 180 will put us at the heart of the action. It will be a complete gamechanger for men and their loved ones affected by prostate cancer – one maximum at a time.”  

All money raised throughout the Paddy Power World Darts Championship will fund lifesaving research to diagnose men sooner and improve the lives of men affected by the most common cancer in men.  

“Prostate cancer is curable if caught early, but early-stage prostate cancer often has no symptoms, so it is vital that men know their risk – and we hope 180,000 fans will do that during the tournament via our simple online risk checker,” she added.    

Speaking about the new partnership, which marks the biggest ever of its kind in the sport, PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter explained: “When our new sponsors Paddy Power suggested pranking our players two weeks out from the tournament to get the public’s attention, it sounded like a huge risk. Ultimately, it was one we were willing to take if it means the millions of men who will tune into the World Darts Championship, alongside their loved ones, are encouraged to take 30 seconds to check their risk.” 

Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the first PDC World Championship, it was fitting that the 1993/94 winner Dennis ‘The Menace’ Priestley, helped launch the campaign today.  

The 73-year-old was treated for prostate cancer after being diagnosed in November 2007. 

He is joined in supporting the campaign by double World Champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, who lifted the Sid Waddell Trophy in 2020 and 2022. The flamboyant Scot, famed for his snazzy attire and customised Mohawk hairstyles, wears the charity’s ‘Man of Men’ badge on his collar in every tournament in solidarity with friends affected by the most common cancer in men. 

PDC Hall of Fame inductee Priestley said: “Nearly all cancers can be beaten if caught early enough, including prostate cancer. I’m the proof after 16 years that if you get it diagnosed early enough you can beat it.” 

Wright added: “As a man over 50 it’s so important to know your risk of prostate cancer, and I’m sure I speak for all of the players taking part this year by saying we are gunning for as many treble 20s as possible as part of Paddy Power’s Big 180 campaign. To know every maximum will trigger a £1,000 donation to Prostate Cancer UK is another fantastic incentive for us all to play well this year. The fact that we can hit Paddy Power where it hurts for their antics earlier this week helps too! 

“I deal in numbers for a living, but hearing one in eight men will get prostate cancer shocked me. I know people affected by this disease; that’s why I always wear Prostate Cancer UK’s ‘Man of Men’ badge on the oche. Knowing we will help raise money to contribute to saving lives every time we throw 180 will be amazing.”

It takes 30 seconds to answer three questions to check your prostate cancer risk. Do it now by clicking on the following link:  prostatecanceruk.org/180-risk

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